White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

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I know that white chocolate isn’t for everyone. It’s taken me a long time to warm up to the stuff myself. But I’ve recently learned one important fact about white chocolate: To find the best stuff, you must read the label.

True white chocolate is made from cocoa butter. To make cocoa butter, roasted cacao beans are ground into a fine paste. That paste is then run through a special press, which separates the cocoa mass from the cocoa butter. To make white chocolate, cocoa butter is then mixed with sugar and milk.

Different chocolate manufacturers make different blends. In the United States, to even be called white chocolate, it must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter. But for better flavor, look for something with an even higher percentage of cocoa butter. More cocoa butter makes for a more delicious product. Avoid white chocolate with fillers like oil and artificial flavor.

A good white chocolate has a gorgeous milky flavor with a floral essence that can evoke both cocoa and vanilla. It melts beautifully and has a subtle charm all its own. It’s heavenly stuff. Once you’ve taste-tested your way through a few bars, I hope you’ll agree. And then you can make these rich white chocolate raspberry cheesecake bars to celebrate.

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

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Samantha Seneviratne is a New York-based writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is the author of The New Sugar and Spice (Ten Speed Press), a baking cookbook combining family stories and food history with recipes that reimagine dessert as a more balanced mix of sugar and spice. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake.